The San Francisco 49ers made a pair of roster moves on Tuesday, releasing veteran cornerback Chris Cook and signing rookie wide receiver Nigel King. The addition of King made some sense. The team has dealt with some injuries at the wide receiver position, with Bruce Ellington and Issac Blakeney both dealing with leg strains. Additionally, Jerome Simpson has missed a couple practices due to personal reasons.
The decision to release Cook to make room is where I am a little baffled. As Jason Hurley pointed out in yesterday's comments, the 49ers are taking a sizable dead money hit with the release of Cook. When the 49ers signed Cook earlier this offseason, reports indicate they gave him a $150,000 signing bonus, a $50,000 workout bonus, and upwards of $650,000 in guaranteed money in his base salary (Jason thinks it might be $500,000 in guaranteed money).
That means the 49ers would be looking at dead money of as much as $800,000 with this release. They had over $10 million in cap space, so it's not the end of the world, but considering some of the big names coming up for new contracts, I find it kind of odd that they would sacrifice that much cap space so quickly.
I have not heard any reason for the release at this point. Obviously they felt they needed an additional wide receiver, but why not release a rookie or other young player making minimal money? It is certainly possible the team wanted to give Cook a chance to land elsewhere and still compete for a job. And yet, with that kind of guaranteed money on the table, the situation is odd.